Ex-lawyer pleads guilty in biodiesel case

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Published: February 15,2010

Tags: biodiesel, energy, fraud, USDA

ABERDEEN — A former Tennessee lawyer has pleaded guilty to one count related to his role in defrauding the U.S. Department of Agriculture out of $2.8 million in bioenergy subsidy money.

H. Max Speight entered the plea in federal court in Aberdeen.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Mims told Judge Glen H. Davidson that a “supplemental plea agreement” was being filed under seal, which means the public cannot see the details.

No sentencing date was set.

A co-defendant, William Tacker II, faces trial Feb. 22 in Aberdeen.

The government says Tacker and Speight filed false statements to obtain the money for a biofuels business they operated in Nettleton. Speight and Tacker were partners in the operation, which went bankrupt in 2006.

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